Los Angeles, CA sexual harassment & employment attorney Natalie Weatherford talks about working on many sexual abuse cases involving the abuse of children by their educators and coaches.
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People who intend to sexually abuse children, they look for jobs where they can have access to children. So within youth organizations like, you know, the YMCA, or the Boys & Girls Club, we’ve had a lot of cases where, you know, kids have been abused by their troop leader at the Boy Scouts, or their athletic director at the Boys & Girls Club. So I’ve handled a lot of those cases. I’m actually handling one right now involving the Boys & Girls Club of America, where there was a longtime coach and athletic director employed up in Sonoma Valley, and he has been abusing boys for probably about 15 years. And the Boys & Girls Club has had ample notice that this perpetrator is a bad guy, and they have failed at every single juncture to do anything about it.
With these cases, it’s really difficult because victims are reluctant to come forward because they’re embarrassed, especially cases involving male on male abuse. There’s a lot of stigma attached to that, unfortunately, still, and so one of the challenges we face is making it comfortable for these people to come forward, and to face their accuser. And then also to get some sort of justice against the institution, like the Boys & Girls Club, that completely failed to protect them on, you know, so many levels.